Bethel Defense Smothers Cobbers, Royals Roll, 31-0
The Bethel University football team rolled into Moorhead on Saturday, unleashing their relentless defense on the Concordia Cobbers in a 31-0 Royals victory. Concordia recorded just 10 first downs and had 214 yards of total offense. Royals quarterback Jaran Roste threw for 300 yards and a touchdown and ran for another to lead the offense.
Concordia took the opening kickoff and marched to the Bethel 36 before the drive would stall. The Cobbers chose to punt, pitting the Royals at their own 15.
That is where Jaran Roste and his offense went to work, marching 85 yards in 11 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Roste began the drive by hitting Sid Boros coming out of the backfield. The running back raced 58 yards before being tackled at the Concordia 27. From there, Bethel went to the ground, running on nine of the next 10 plays. On third and goal at the one, the Bethel quarterback dove over the pile for the touchdown. The drive took 6:17 off the clock.
In the second quarter, Bethel University extended their lead with a pair of touchdowns. The first came on the first possession of the second quarter for Bethel. Starting at the Concordia 45, the drive looked like it was going nowhere when Boros was tackled for a 5 yard loss on the opening play and an incomplete pass set up third and 15. Roste then found wide receiver John Carlson for a 12 yard gain. The coaching staff opted to go for, and their quarterback delivered, connecting with Drew Larsen for 8 yards and a first down. Four plays later, Roste kept the ball on a draw play. As he was about to be tackled, he tossed it to Boros who raced 12 yards for the touchdown to make it a 14-0 lead.
Two possessions later, the Royals would be in the end zone again. After the defense provided great field position once again, Roste completed his first two passes of the drive, hitting Boros for 11 yards and Larsen for 29 more. With first and 10 at the 11, the Royals QB hit running back Sam Gibas over the middle. Gibas raced for the corner of the end zone, scoring to make it 21-0.
That would be the score at the half, as the Royals defense was absolutely dominating. Concordia recorded just 87 yards in the first half, and had three straight drives that ended in three and outs. Their first five drives resulted in punts and the final drive of the half ended when Emmanuel Blacks picked off a Blake Kragnes pass at the Bethel 37.
In the second half, the Bethel defense continued to dominate. The Cobbers were forced to punt on each of their first two possessions following the break. Finally, on their third possession, it looked like Concordia would get on the scoreboard. Kragnes made two huge plays on the drive, gaining 8 yards on a third and 8 to give the Cobbers a fresh set of downs, then racing 43 yards on the next play down to the Bethel 15. The Concordia quarterback looked for the touchdown on the next play, but Tavian Swanson read it beautifully, positioning himself to make the interception in the end zone.
The defense would create a turnover on the next possession for Concordia. Sean McGuire fumbled and Kyle Peach made the recovery. The Cobbers would have two more possessions, with the second ending in another turnover. This when Michael Judd forced the third fumble of the day by McGuire. He recovered the ball as Bethel ran out the clock.
The offense would add 10 more points. The first came on a touchdown just before the end of the third quarter. Roste got the drive started when he connected with Larsen on a 48 yard completion from his own 10 to the Concordia 42. After Boros rushed for 18 yards, the Bethel quarterback hit Jon Pytiak for 15 more. Two plays later, Mike Delich scored from 1 yard out to make it 28-0.
The final points came following the Peach fumble recovery. The Royals were unable to move the ball, and Bjorn Charles hit a 27 yard field goal to make it 31-0. That would be the final score.
It was another great day for the Bethel offense. The team recorded 453 yards, including 300 through the air by Jaran Roste. Roste also rushed for 33 more on the ground, throwing for a touchdown and rushing for another. Sid Boros continues his unreal yards per carry average, gaining 63 yards on eight carries. He also scored a touchdown and had four receptions for 78 yards. Boros now has 351 yards rushing on just 29 carries this season, a nearly 12 yards per carry average.
Besides scoring a touchdown, Mike Delich also led the Royals in tackles with seven and he recorded one of the three sacks by the team. Judson Williams, Cale Ferrin, and John Sfire each had six tackles. Sfire also had a sack.
Next Saturday, Bethel University (6-1) welcomes Hamline University (1-6) to Royal Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 PM.
By Robert Pannier
Featured Image Courtesy of Carl Schmuland/Bethel University Football